STORIES

Veterans: Near-Unanimous Support for MMJ Research

By David Jenison on March 6, 2019

Politicians should stop telling others to “support the troops” when they personally refuse to support our soldiers on medical cannabis (MMJ) issues. According to the findings of a new survey, a vote against medical cannabis now represents a vote against the will of nearly every soldier who fought in Iraq or Afghanistan.

Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) is a non-profit organization representing more than 400,000 veterans and that has connected more than 1.2 million with much-needed resources. A recent survey of nearly 5,000 IAVA members dealt with a wide range of issues, including their views on cannabis, which included majority support for full legalization and near-unanimous support for medical cannabis. The specific numbers are as follows:

90 percent support research into medical cannabis use

  • 91 percent would be interested in legal cannabis treatments
  • 85 percent believe the VA should allow research into cannabis as a treatment option
  • 83 percent believe medical cannabis should be fully legal
  • 31 percent have discussed medical cannabis with their doctors
  • 20 percent have utilized medical cannabis

Interestingly, 66 percent of veterans have consumed cannabis recreationally, and 55 percent think the federal government should legalize recreational use. Conversely, only four percent were against medical cannabis research, and only six percent were uninterested in medical cannabis options if legally available.

The IAVA report summarized the findings as follows: “Veterans consistently and passionately have communicated that cannabis offers effective help tackling some of the most pressing injuries they face when returning from war. Our nation is rapidly moving toward legalizing cannabis, and 33 states now permit medical cannabis. Across party lines, medical cannabis is largely unopposed. Yet our national policies are outdated, research is lacking and stigma persists.”

Support for prohibition is not compatible with support for our troops. It’s time to pick a side.

Photo credit: Chase Elliott Clark/Flickr.

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